Borussia Monchengladbach fought back from 2-0 down to beat Bayern Munich 3-2 at home on Friday to open the German Bundesliga title race back up.
Robert Lewandowski’s penalty and Leon Goretzka’s strike from a Leroy Sane assist had the visitors 2-0 up after 26 minutes thanks to some Video Assisted Refereeing (VAR) before the hosts came back to life in the final 10 minutes of the second half.
Lars Stindl twice provided for Jonas Hofmann to have Monchengladbach level at half-time before Hofmann turned provider for Florian Neuhaus completed the comeback four minutes into the second half.
Marco Rose’s men were then able to stay in front for the remainder of the match to hand Bayern a first Bundesliga loss since September away at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
At 2-0 down with VAR having made life more difficult for them, it would have been easy for Monchengladbach to fold completely and let Bayern stroll to victory.
However, Die Fohlen rallied and produced three goals in a rich quarter of an hour to turn the game on its head and emerge with all three points.
Despite slowing down towards the end of the UEFA Champions League group stage, Gladbach have won many admirers with their approach this season and it is easy to see why after another thrilling encounter with plenty of goals.
With two goals on the board after 26 minutes after a series of slow starts that required them to fight back from losing positions, Bayern found themselves in front with a nice cushion.
It seemed to unnerve Hansi Flick’s men, though, as Hofmann’s first goal was quickly followed by two more as Monchengladbach’s confidence soared.
Once in the familiar position of needing to get themselves back into the contest, Bayern were unable to respond and slipped to their second defeat of the campaign.
Key to Monchengladbach’s win was Hofmann’s first half double from Stindl assists as it completely deflated Bayern just before the break.
The hosts were then able to come out and capitalise at the start of the second half before grabbing the important third goal with Hofmann laying that on for Neuhaus.
Now a full Germany international, the 28-year-old a star talent in an attractive Fohlen outfit that continue to earn plaudits under Rose.
Equally valuable for Gladbach were Stindl’s two assists for Hofmann as the 32-year-old continues to be a productive source of goals and assists with 11 contributions in 15 Bundesliga matches alone.
Stindl is a highly underrated talisman in Europe with Die Borussen flying domestically and continentally as he is almost always at the heart of what they are doing.
While the likes of Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram often earn most of the recognition when they feature and contribute, it is telling that one of the biggest results of the season came without either of them on the pitch — the home side were never going to be able to do it without their inspirational captain.
Monchengladbach’s success has blown the Bundesliga title race wide open as RB Leipzig can overtake Bayern with a win, Bayer Leverkusen can close the gap and Borussia Dortmund can play catch-up if all are victorious this weekend.
If that happens, the title race takes on a different complexion and is suddenly much tighter with the champions no longer holding all of the cards.
With some fairly straightforward fixtures — on paper — coming up for Bayern, it was only Monchengladbach who could relaunch the title race and they did just that in fine style.